This has been an excruciatingly hot and humid summer, but still, in spite of all of the steamy subways, untamable humidity hair, and deep, permeating regrets of experimenting with Roki’s recommendations for giving up antiperspirant, I will never, never give up my end of day soak in a hot bath. A bath means peace; it means a few guaranteed uninterrupted minutes of deep thought, or, alternatively, a cocoon of warm, womb-like comfort as I watch an episode of Black Mirror on the iPad teetering questionably on the side of my tub.
I am a devoted soaker and my vanity is a full four section orchestra of bath soak choices: salts, milks, detox powders, and now, thanks so some diligent research, I am diving into the World of Oils.
I have combination skin and a sensitive scalp, so the word ‘oil’ is not something I have scrambled to bring into my beauty routine ever in my life. I have delicately, cautiously, dipped my toes into the world of serums and oils for my face, but have never invested time in experimenting in bath oils until now. Come to find, most bath oils have an aromatherapy element to them that really helps you unwind in a hurry, and, if you use the right product for your skin type and needs, bath oils can actually physically restore your epidermis (in addition to you mind, heart and energy).
Long hot baths have always been warned to me as moisture-depleting to your skin, but bath oils actually create a hydro-lipid film on your skin while you soak, which protects you from dehydration. Moisturized skin is softer and more elastic, which means these oils can help keep your skin from ageing. Sophie Loren has famously always dropped a spoonful of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the tub before her soak, and, well…. look at her.
There are a few things you can do to make your bathing experience really count, and believe me, these tricks go the distance.
If you’re like me and love a hot soak, you may want to rethink your nozzles on your next time in the tub. The ideal bathing temperature is just 37 degrees, basically about the same temperature as your body. Hotter water dehydrates you faster, and can damage your skin. While we’re on the topic of time, you should always keep your baths to less than 25 minutes, or risk drying out your skin (no matter how strong your oil’s hydro-lipid film is).
A Quick Massage
Before you sink in, give your whole body a quick massage with a warm, drenched towel with a drop of body oil. Use circular movements, starting at your ankles and finishing at your neck. If you have a tub with jets (please invite me over, but also) take full advantage of the spray, alternating hot and cold and stimulating your whole body’s circulation.
Experiment With Scents
Having a few different scents to choose from might make for a more relaxing bathing experience if you regularly turn to your tub to decompress. Lavender relaxes, citrus will energize, eucalyptus clears your lungs, bergamot helps with anxiety. Building your arsenal of products means you’ll have a cabinet full of cures at the end of a long day. Most bath oils have already diluted these ingredients for you, so you can apply them directly to your body or add them to your soak before you jump in.
Here are a few of the oils we recommend to start you off on your oil soak lifestyle the right way:
This oil transforms your bath into a proper nourishing treatment for your skin. It contains a mix of exquisitely hydrating oils; Argan oil, Moringa oil, and sweet almond oil. Rich in Vitamin A and E, it smoothens, softens and moisturizes deeply.
Enriched with Neroli, orange and mandarin oil, this oil will make the skin softer and brighter.
This combines the hydrating power of vegetable oil with the beneficial properties of essential oils. Pour the equivalent of two caps into the water.
This oil has a base of Argan and eucalyptus; the first is rich in Vitamin E and guarantees a smooth sensation on your skin, while the later has a tonifying effect.
Memorable for its sweet Rose scent, contact with water transforms this oil into a nourishing milk.
Formulated with natural essential oils, coconut milk nurtures and pampers your skin, while the lime aroma gives a burst of energy.